Thursday, March 29, 2012

An excellent point-by-point rebuttal to faith-healer defending UK MPs

You probably know the story. The Advertising Standards Agency ruled that a leaflet handed out by a Christian group in Bath was misleading and its claims could discourage people from seeking essential medical advice.  This is because it contained a list of medical conditions which could be ‘healed today’.

Three MPs didn’t like the ruling, so they decided to complain to the ASA in a letter which is a master class in stupidity:

Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury
Chairman, Advertising Standards Agency
21st March 2012

We are writing on behalf of the all-party Christians in Parliament group in Westminster and your ruling that the Healing On The Streets ministry in Bath are no longer able to claim, in their advertising, that God can heal people from medical conditions.

We write to express our concern at this decision and to enquire about the basis on which it has been made. It appears to cut across two thousand years of Christian tradition and the very clear teaching in the Bible. Many of us have seen and experienced physical healing ourselves in our own families and churches and wonder why you have decided that this is not possible.

On what scientific research or empirical evidence have you based this decision?

You might be interested to know that I (Gary Streeter) received divine healing myself at a church meeting in 1983 on my right hand, which was in pain for many years. After prayer at that meeting, my hand was immediately free from pain and has been ever since. What does the ASA say about that? I would be the first to accept that prayed for people do not always get healed, but sometimes they do. That is all this sincere group of Christians in Bath are claiming.

It is interesting to note that since the traumatic collapse of the footballer Fabrice Muamba the whole nation appears to be praying for a physical healing for him. I enclose some media extracts. Are they wrong also and will you seek to intervene?

We invite your detailed response to this letter and unless you can persuade us that you have reached your ruling on the basis of indisputable scientific evidence, we intend to raise this matter in Parliament.

Yours sincerely,

Gary Streeter MP (Con)
Chair, Christians in Parliament

Gavin Shuker MP (Labour)
Vice Chair, Christians in Parliament

Tim Farron (Lib-Dem)
Vice Chair, Christians in Parliament

The most disappointing part for me is that I can’t get as angry about it as I’d like to because the bit about Gary Streeter’s poorly hand is so hilarious.

Martin Robbins does an excellent job of pulling the letter apart.

I have only one thing to add: it’s known that faith healing discourages medical treatment and that people die as a result. How can these ignorant fools promote that?

No comments:

Post a Comment